• The Niobrara National Scenic river comes alive with color in the fall.

    Niobrara

    National Scenic River Nebraska

Environmental Factors

Technician collects samples

Biology technician collects samples of aquatic life.

NPS photo

The Niobrara is a relatively undammed river for most of its 535 miles. The only dam that currently exists on the Scenic River stretch is Cornell Dam. Cornell Dam is located on the Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and has a significant historical context for the Niobrara River Valley and the nearby town of Valentine. The dam was built in the early 1900's, but has not been operational since 1984. It now exists as a "run-of-the-river" dam; however it still serves as an impediment to upstream migration of aquatic species. It also continues to alter the hydrology of the upper portion of the Scenic River stretch.

Did You Know?

Smith Falls

Geologists have documented well over 200 waterfalls within the Niobrara River Valley. The tallest known falls is Smith Falls, which cascades 63 feet over a sandstone cliff. Click "More" to visit the Niobrara National Scenic River "Waterfalls & Springs" page. More...